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Colour Balance

NOTE: There can be a noticeable difference between viewing your work on a computer screen and seeing the final printed version - this is because computer screens are RGB devices whereas most printers are CMYK (see below for more info). For more accurate viewing use a colour calibrated screen and convert all your RGB images to CMYK.

Colour Matching - We do not 'tweek' the colour balance on the printing press. Any adjustment must be made to the original file either at your end with an adjusted file being re-submitted or we can adjust it for you at our end for a small extra charge.

We operate calibrated systems - this means that our equipment is calibrated to an international standard which gives us consistent colour balance throughout our various installations. It also means consistent colour balance year-on-year - i.e. re-order next year and the colours will match.

We use the Euroscale International Standard.

Will my work look exactly like it does on my monitor?

Unlikely, unless you have a properly calibrated monitor.

Scanners and digital cameras create images using combinations of just three colours: Red, Green and Blue (called RGB). These are the colours that computers use to display images.

Printing presses however print using a different set of colours: Cyan (blue), Magenta (red), Yellow and Black (called CMYK). So at some stage your RGB file must be converted to CMYK in order to print it on a printing press.

When we receive RGB images, we do a standard-value conversion to CMYK, which may not be perfectly to your liking. So if you have the facility please convert all RGB images to CMYK before you send them to us.

There are some colours in RGB that you can't make with CMYK. They are said to be 'out of gamut'. CMYK orange and CMYK blue are good examples of this (see below). In these cases the conversion filter just gets as close as it can to the original colour.

Above is an example of a 'before' and 'after' conversion.
The top row is RGB, the bottom row CMYK.

Colour photographs don’t suffer very much from CMYK translation -  it's usually more noticeable if you pick very rich, vibrant colours for a background or some other element of your layout. It probably won't look bad, it just won't look exactly the same.

If you see printed material with strong oranges or blues then the colours are almost certainly printed as extra 'spot' colours in addition to the four CMYK inks. We can print up to six colours in one pass - email for a price.

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